It seems that Huawei is in talks to sell its P and Mate smartphone brands.
According to a report by Reuters, the company is in the early-stages of a discussion that involves those two brands being sold to a consortium led by investment firms with backing from the Shanghai government.
Reuters’ sources told the outlet that Huawei had began looking into the prospect of selling off those brands in September 2020. However, there’s a chance that the sale won’t happen, owing to the company’s efforts to design in-house chips.
According to Reuters, a Huawei spokesman denied that the P and Mate brands will be sold off while the Shanghai government said that it was unaware of such discussions. The Huawei spokesman was quoted as saying, “There is no merit to these rumours whatsoever. Huawei has no such plan.”
Last November, Huawei sold off its Honor smartphone brand due to “tremendous pressure” and unavailability of parts. Reuters reported at the time that the company was focusing on “high-end handsets and corporate-oriented business” due to restrictions imposed by the U.S. government. The Trump administration had imposed restrictions that “strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain U.S. software and technology”.
Additional restrictions, including the revocation of some licenses allowing sales to Huawei, were imposed during the final days of that administration.
It remains to be seen how the current Biden administration will deal with Huawei. However, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a January 25 press briefing that technology is “at the center of the U.S.-China competition” and that “the President’s view is we need to play a better defense, which must include holding China accountable for its unfair and illegal practices and making sure that American technologies aren’t facilitating China’s military buildup”.